Oesterle Library News

Archive for October 2011

Sesquicentennial exhibit highlights items from library collections

Monday, October 31st, 2011

The exhibit, “North Central College at 150 Years: Selections from the Oesterle Library Collections,” will be displayed from Nov. 1 through Jan. 8 in the College’s Schoenherr Gallery at the Fine Arts Center, 171 E. Chicago Ave., Naperville. The exhibit is free and open to the public. An opening reception will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 1.


The exhibit will include reproductions of items from the Oesterle Library collections, including the Sang Collection, the Arlo L. Schilling President’s Papers and the Harris W. Fawell Congressional Papers. Highlights of the collections include letters written and signed by poet Emily Dickinson and President Abraham Lincoln and a land survey completed and signed by a 16-year-old George Washington.


Schoenherr Gallery’s hours are 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday and Saturday, noon to 5 p.m. Sunday and one hour before most performances in the Fine Arts Center.

150th Moments – Meiley-Swallow Hall

Friday, October 21st, 2011

The Evangelical Association was the founding church of North Central College. When the College relocated to Naperville in 1870, the Zion “Old Brick Church” Congregation (now Community United Methodist Church) was instrumental in the funding, and it became the religious home of many of the professors and their families. In 1890, however, a split occurred in the denomination, resulting in the organization of a second Evangelical congregation. Originally called the Second Evangelical Church, Grace Church first conducted services in Scott’s Hall.

In 1891, the first building for Grace Church was dedicated at Benton and Loomis streets. With a growing congregation, Grace Church built a new house of worship and on November 14, 1909 its new building at the corner of Ellsworth Street and Van Buren Avenue was dedicated.

In 1968, the Evangelical United Brethren Church merged to form the new United Methodist Church. This resulted in three United Methodist Churches within a mere three blocks in the historic district. Grace United Methodist Church decided to move south of town and on February 20, 1971 dedicated its third building at 300 E. Gartner Road.

The College acquired the former Grace Evangelical Church in 2004. The new Meiley-Swallow Hall was rededicated at homecoming in 2007. The building was named to recognize the vision and generosity of life trustee Judy G. Meiley Stevenson by honoring her family’s long connections with the College.

150th Moments – Plainfield College

Sunday, October 16th, 2011
In April 1859, the Illinois Conference of the Evangelical Association voted to establish a co-educational institution of higher learning. In January 1861, Plainfield, Illinois was selected as the location for this new college because of the convenience to the train lines in Joliet.

The institution was named Plainfield College, in honor of the town that was hosting the College; the name, however, was changed to North-Western College in 1864.  The building, constructed north of the intersection of Lockport and Dillman streets, opened its doors for instruction on November 11, 1861 with courses taught in both English and German.

Remembering Professor Andy Adams

Monday, October 3rd, 2011


North Central College Profesor Emeritus Andy Adams was a staple at Oesterle Library after his retirement in the spring of 2004.  The library staff all knew him and the students all knew of him. He would spend many of his days and evenings using the library resources and computers.  And during the winter months, when it was too cold for his daily walks, he would walk the stacks of the library.

Professor Adams began teaching at the college as Instructor of Classics in 1970 and became a full Professor in 1991. During his first sixteen years here, he also served as a Hall Director. In his last year teaching here at the college he was able to combine his two personal research interests, former president Abraham Lincoln and genealogy, combined as he discovered a previously unknown census record of Lincoln’s stepmother, Sarah Bush Johnston. You can learn more about Professor Adams’ history with the college in the Archives’ exhibit that honored him during the spring of his retirement.

The staff at Oesterle Library will miss Professor Adams’ presence and would like to extend our condolences to his family and the students, faculty and staff whose lives he touched during his time here. In honor of Professor Adams’ long affiliation with Oesterle Library, we will be selecting a series of books in the Classics to add to the library collection in his memory.